• How Pets Can Increase Your Risk of Falls

    Pets bring joy and unconditional love to everyday life, but are they safe for high-risk patients? Every year, emergency care physicians treat thousands of patients for fall-related injuries caused by pets. Seniors are at a high risk of falls because of impaired balance, coordination, reaction time, and vision. Additionally, having osteoporosis can turn a simple fall into a long-term disability. Yet, for many people, the emotional health benefits of companion animals outweigh the risks. Here at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, our emergency care physicians encourage seniors in Las Vegas to take preventive steps to improve safety around pets.

    Seeing a Pet Trainer

    Dogs may inadvertently cause falls during their daily walks. Consider taking your dog to a professional trainer to teach him or her to learn to walk beside you, rather than in front of you. Dogs should also be taught not to pull at the leash and not to jump up on people to greet them.

    Walking Your Dog

    Some dogs may resist obedience training. For some people who are at a high risk of fractures, it may be wise to hire a dog walker. If you do walk your dog yourself, be aware of potential hazards that may lead to a fall, such as dizziness and heat-related illnesses. Certain medications can cause dizziness and seniors are at a particularly high risk of heat-related illnesses, which can cause fainting.

    Minimizing Pet-Related Clutter

    Inside the home, pets can indirectly contribute to falls. A cat or dog may scatter toys around the home or nudge the food bowl out of its designated area. These objects are tripping hazards. You can reduce the risk of tripping and falling by keeping the home well-lit and minimizing the number of toys available to your pets.

    Adding Collar Accessories

    In many cases, people have required emergency care after tripping over their pets. Consider attaching a small bell to your pet’s collar. The motion-activated sound will let you know if your furry friend is nearby.

    If you or a loved one sustains serious injuries from a fall, please call 911 right away for emergency care . General questions about the medical services available at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center may be directed to a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300. Our hospital staff in Las Vegas is committed to empowering patients with the resources and information they need to live life well.

  • Teaching Your Child to Dial 9-1-1

    Every American adult knows that emergency care is just a phone call away, but what happens if the only adult in the area is incapacitated or a child is alone? It’s important that all children are taught the basics of handling emergency situations . The emergency care physicians at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center recommend that children be introduced to the concept of calling 911 as soon as they are developmentally able to understand it. For some children, this may be as early as three years of age, or as late as four or five.

    Recognizing Emergencies and Non-Emergencies

    Countless calls to 911 are for non-emergencies. You can begin teaching your child about handling emergencies by helping him or her to understand what constitutes an emergency. Lost toys and skinned knees are situations that call for a parent’s intervention, not emergency care. House fires, unconscious and non-responsive adults, drowning, severe bleeding, and choking are situations that require an emergency response. Be sure to tell your child that if he or she isn’t sure if something is an emergency, it’s best to call 911 just in case.

    Practicing Emergency Responses

    Discussing the act of dialing 911 isn’t always sufficient to empower children to act when necessary. Ask your child questions such as, “What should you do if you see a fire in the kitchen?” and “Is it an emergency if your sister won’t share her toy?” Then, practice dialing 911 using a toy phone or a disconnected landline phone. If your child is still working on number recognition, spell out 911 in large letters and post it by the phone.

    Identifying Age-Appropriate Skills

    Emergency care physicians can save lives, but sometimes children can, too. Depending on your child’s maturity level, you can teach him or her how to apply pressure to a bleeding wound and perform hands-only CPR. Let your child know that if someone is drowning, your child can throw that person a flotation device and call 911, but he or she should not go into the water. Elementary-age children can even be taught how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

    Emergency care physicians are available around the clock, every day of the year at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center . Families in the greater Las Vegas area have been placing their trust in our hospital for nearly 60 years. All medical emergencies should be directed to a 911 dispatcher, but non-emergent, general healthcare questions may be directed to a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300.

  • Do You Need to Go to the ER for a Skin Rash?

    Most skin rashes are minor and may be treated at home or with a non-emergent appointment with a family physician, but if discoloration of the skin is accompanied by other symptoms, it may require the attention of an emergency care physician. If you’re ever unsure of whether a child or elderly individual should be seen at the ER for a skin rash , it’s generally best to err on the side of caution. The emergency care physicians at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center are always available to provide prompt care. These are some of the situations in which you should seek emergency care:

    The rash appears suddenly.

    The sudden onset of a skin rash can be a cause for concern. A skin rash that starts abruptly and spreads rapidly may be triggered by an allergic reaction. An emergency care physician may need to look at it. If small, red, itchy hives develop and a person starts to have trouble breathing, it’s essential to call 911 right away.

    The rash covers large areas of the body.

    Another possible indicator of an allergic reaction is a skin rash that covers much of the body. Widespread rashes may also be caused by infections, such as measles and chickenpox. Physicians strongly recommend routine measles vaccines for children, but not all parents vaccinate their children. This practice has led to more common outbreaks of measles.

    The rash is accompanied by a fever.

    A rash accompanied by a fever can be a serious medical problem. An ER physician can evaluate you or your child for measles, shingles, scarlet fever, and severe allergic reactions.

    The rash begins to blister or appears infected.

    Even if a skin rash appears minor initially, it may later require emergency care. A trip to the ER is warranted if the rash blisters or turns into open sores, especially if the skin around the eyes, genitals, or in the mouth is affected. Skin rashes that itch intensely can be difficult to resist scratching, but this can contribute to infections of the sores. Emergency care is needed for signs of an infection, including swelling, crusting, unusual discharge, increasing pain, and a red streak that emanates from the sore.

    For all of your medical emergencies in the Las Vegas area, the emergency care team at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is available 24/7. From stroke and heart attacks to skin rashes and infections, our emergency care department is fully equipped to handle every medical emergency. You can request a physician referral for non-emergent situations by calling (702) 233-5300.

  • How Can Women Prevent Cancer?

    Cancer prevention is important for everyone, because anyone can be affected by it. For women who are busy juggling the demands of work and family, it’s often difficult to find the time to put their own health first, but leading a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of these deadly diseases. If you’re ready to focus on your wellness, consider speaking with a physician at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas. You can also watch this featured video to hear one of our OB/GYN specialists discuss the simple changes women can make to prevent cancer.

    Compelling evidence points to the importance of a physically active lifestyle for cancer prevention. Specifically, individuals who exercise regularly may be at a lower risk of breast, endometrial, and colon cancer. It’s thought that the benefits of exercise that directly contribute to lower cancer rates include better hormonal balance, weight maintenance, improved immune function, and reduced systemic inflammation.

    Avoid Tobacco
    Did you know that lung cancer is responsible for more cancer-related deaths among women than any other type? Smoking, secondhand smoke, and tobacco residue are the most common causes of lung cancer. It isn’t enough to avoid smoking yourself. It’s also necessary to ban everyone else from smoking in your home or vehicle.

    Limit Alcohol
    Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of breast, esophageal, mouth, and colorectal cancers. More research is needed in this area, but it’s thought that one possible reason for the increased risk of breast cancer among heavy drinkers is the effect of alcohol on estrogen levels. Physicians generally recommend that women consume no more than one alcoholic beverage daily, if they drink at all.

    Beware of UV Light
    Skin cancer is an often-overlooked threat, but more American women are diagnosed with skin cancers than breast cancer. It only takes a few minutes to cover exposed skin with liberal amounts of sunscreen. Remember to bring a bottle of sunscreen with you and reapply it every couple of hours. Instead of tanning, consider using sunless tanning lotions.

    The oncologists at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center provide an unsurpassed level of patient care, including specialized cancer care for women in The Breast Center . At our hospital in Las Vegas, we firmly believe in the importance of prevention, which is why we offer genetic counseling and extensive patient education. You can request a physician referral by calling (702) 233-5300.

  • How Atrial Fibrillation Affects Your Stroke Risk

    Atrial fibrillation is a type of heart arrhythmia. It causes the heart to beat too quickly and irregularly because of abnormalities of the heart’s electrical system. Some people with atrial fibrillation develop troublesome symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and faintness, while others experience no symptoms at all. The treatment of atrial fibrillation doesn’t only manage its symptoms; it’s essential for managing the risk of stroke. At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, comprehensive heart and stroke care is available for families in Las Vegas.

    Understanding Your Diagnosis
    The upper chambers of the heart are the atria, and the lower chambers are the ventricles. The electrical signals originate in the atria before moving on to the ventricles. These electrical impulses instruct the heart to contract and pump blood. But if you have atrial fibrillation, the electrical signals are too fast and are transmitted in an irregular fashion, causing the atria to quiver instead of contract. Additionally, not all electrical signals may reach the ventricles. Because of these abnormalities, the chambers may be unable to move all of the blood around, causing some blood to pool. When this happens, blood clots can form. It is these blood clots that increase your risk of stroke. A blood clot can travel out of the heart. Within the bloodstream, it can travel to the brain, where it can block blood flow and cause a stroke. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke , having atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke by about four to six times.

    Learning About Silent Strokes
    Stroke is known for its sudden onset of easily recognizable symptoms like one-sided muscle weakness and paralysis. Yet, it’s possible to suffer a stroke without experiencing any symptoms. This is known as a silent stroke and having atrial fibrillation increases your risk of them. Despite their lack of obvious symptoms, silent strokes can inflict significant damage on the brain cells and can lead to dementia. It is possible to have several silent strokes without realizing it. They may only be detected if a neurologist runs a brain scan.

    When a stroke occurs, every second counts. Exceptional stroke care is available at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center —a Certified Primary Stroke Center in Las Vegas. Call 911 to request emergency care for a stroke or, for non-emergent inquiries only, call a registered nurse at our hospital at (702) 233-5300.

  • What to Expect When You Visit the ER for Chest Pain

    Chest pain is perhaps the best-known symptom of a heart attack, although it has many other possible causes, and heart attacks can cause many other symptoms. However, given the risk of a deadly heart attack, all patients who arrive at the emergency care entrance complaining of chest pain are evaluated rapidly and treated appropriately. In Las Vegas, families can count on Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center for exceptional emergency care and cutting-edge heart attack treatments.

    In diagnosing a heart attack, the first step is typically an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). A specially trained technician will apply multiple electrodes to your skin to record the electrical activity of the heart. This test is painless, noninvasive, and takes just a few minutes. The results are available rapidly to advise the heart care team of whether heart attack intervention is needed.

    Blood Tests
    Along with an EKG, emergency care physicians can request blood tests to confirm the diagnosis or to rule out the possibility of a heart attack. When the blood supply to the heart is obstructed, the heart cells begin to die. This process releases proteins into the bloodstream. A blood test will show whether you have high levels of these proteins.

    Medications can be administered to break up a blood clot that is blocking the coronary artery. Thrombolytic drugs, also known as clot busters, are most effective when administered shortly after the heart attack occurs. By breaking up the blood clot, these medicines can restore blood flow to the heart .

    Cardiac Catheterization
    Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive method of opening blocked blood vessels with medical instruments. The cardiologist will insert a thin, flexible catheter into a blood vessel. This device is guided to the coronary arteries. There, the cardiologist can release a special dye that allows him or her to evaluate the flow of blood through the blood vessels and heart. If a blockage is located, the cardiologist can use the catheter to inflate a special balloon that compresses the plaque and blood clot against the arterial walls. This restores blood flow.

    Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is a Chest Pain Center accredited by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). This designation reflects our emergency care and heart care teams’ commitment to initiating protocols-driven responses for all chest pain patients. All true medical emergencies should be reported to a 911 dispatcher. Non-emergent questions about our hospital services in Las Vegas can be answered by a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300.

  • Why Women Have Unique Heart Health Needs

    Heart health is important for everyone, but it doesn’t affect everyone equally. Take a few minutes to learn about the unique heart health needs of women. One of the most damaging misconceptions about heart disease is that it primarily affects older men. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women. Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is a renowned heart hospital that is dedicated to raising awareness about heart health .

    Understanding Heart Disease
    Heart disease can refer to multiple cardiac problems, and women are at an increased risk for several of them. Compared to men, women have a higher risk of coronary microvascular disease (MVD), also called cardiac syndrome X. This condition is characterized by damage or disease of the small coronary artery network of the heart. MVD is not as well understood as coronary heart disease (CHD) and it’s more difficult to detect than CHD. However, some researchers think that women’s risk of MVD may be attributable at least in part to declining estrogen levels during menopause. In addition to MVD, women are at a higher risk of suffering from stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Compared to men, women are more likely to die from CHD, even though this condition typically affects women later in life.

    Recognizing the Signs of a Heart Attack
    It isn’t just the unique risk factors that differentiate men’s and women’s heart health; it’s also the way heart attacks present themselves. Men are more likely than women to suffer from the crushing chest pain or pressure that is typically associated with heart attacks. Women are more likely to experience subtle symptoms like nausea, excessive fatigue, jaw pain, or upper abdominal pain that feels like heartburn. Cold sweats, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and the feeling of impending doom are other possible signs of a heart attack . Because women are more likely to experience subtle symptoms, they might delay seeking emergency care. But even if these symptoms are caused by other medical issues, it’s still important to get evaluated at a heart hospital, just in case. Taking the time to get emergency care can save lives.

    The Heart Center at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center treats more cardiac patients than any other medical center in the Las Vegas area. Our heart care team offers groundbreaking treatments, specialized programs, and comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation. If you think you might be suffering a heart attack, please call 911 without delay. Otherwise, call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300.

  • Don’t Second Guess Stroke Symptoms

    Stroke care has benefited from many medical advances over the years, including tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) for ischemic stroke and endovascular procedures for hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. Yet, the success of these treatments in saving lives and facilitating favorable long-term outcomes is highly dependent on the emergency care response. When stroke symptoms are ignored or when patients try to wait for them to resolve, the result can be deadly. The stroke care team at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center—a Certified Primary Stroke Center—encourages our neighbors throughout Las Vegas to become aware of the signs of stroke and to call for emergency care promptly.

    How to Recognize a Stroke
    Strokes occur suddenly. When blood flow to the brain is obstructed, the brain tissue begins to die. Functional impairments develop quickly as a result. These impairments often include one-sided weakness or paralysis. Stroke care experts recommend smiling and holding both arms straight out so that they are parallel to the ground. If one side of the smile droops or one arm drifts down, a stroke may be the cause. Other signs and symptoms can include confusion , difficulty walking, slurred speech, visual impairments, and an excruciating headache.

    What to Do When Stroke Occurs
    Watch this featured video to hear a vascular neurologist at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center explain what patients should do if they suspect they are suffering a stroke. Of course, the most important step to take is to call 911 immediately or use an emergency alert button. If you are able to do so, you should then make sure that emergency responders can get through your door. If you’re having problems walking, stay where you are. Lie down and turn your head to the side. Avoid swallowing anything and never take aspirin for a stroke.

    Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is a Certified Primary Stroke Center that provides a continuum of care from diagnostics and emergency care to accredited inpatient and outpatient neuro-rehabilitation. All medical emergencies like a suspected stroke should be reported to a 911 dispatcher. Non-emergent inquiries about our stroke care in Las Vegas may be directed to a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300.